Dr. Henry Alexis Rudolf Tilaar's (H.A.R Tilaar) Biography
Dr. Henry Alexis Rudolf Tilaar (H.A.R Tilaar) [16 June 1932 – 30 October 2019] is a leading scholar of Indonesian education, publishing more than 40 books in his lifetime. In 2012, he was awarded the Thomas Hart Benton Mural Medallion, the highest honor that Indiana University can bestow upon its alumni. He is also a 2009 recipient of IU’s School of Education Distinguished Alumni Award. He also received the Certificate of Ceremony, World Record for Achievement in Pedagogy (2007), and his biography is listed in the educational encyclopedia: Who’s Who in The World, Millennium Edition (2000), American Biographical Institute, 1000 Great ASEAN, International Biographical Center, England (2003), and Who’s Who in American Education (2006-2007). He was a Professor Emeritus at the Postgraduate Program and President Director of Management Institute at Jakarta State University in Indonesia.
Tilaar’s academic experience began during the Dutch colonial period in 1946 in his hometown of Manado,at the Louwerier School (Sekolah Rakyat). Tilaar continued his education at Christian Normaal School, Tomohon and graduated with honors in 1950. After graduating from the Christian Normaal School, he continued his studies at the upper secondary level at Kweek school, Tomohon (Indonesia), and graduated with honors in 1952. In 1957-1959, Tilaar continued his education at the Teacher Education School in Bandung, graduating with honor, and earned his bachelor’s degree in education in 1961 from the University of Indonesia. In1964, Tilaar was among the first Indonesians supported by USAID for postgraduate study in the U.S. He studied at the University of Chicago and went on to earn a Master of Science in 1967 and Ph.D. in 1969 from the Indiana University, School of Education. Tilaar also participated in several post-graduate programs at leading universities in the world, such as the University of Wisconsin (1965), the University of Missouri (1966), Michigan State University (1969), and the University of Sussex (1972).
Tilaar was actively involved in government circles. He was an expert staff member of the National Development Planning Agency (BAPPENAS) of Indonesia from 1970 to 1974. From 1984-1991 he served as the Head of the Bureau of Education and Culture (BAPPENAS) in Indonesia. From1986-1993, he served also as an Assistant to the Minister for Human Resources Development. In 1988, in appreciation for his services to Indonesia, Tilaar was awarded the Bintang Jasa Utama (Highest Service Star) of the Republic of Indonesia; this is the highest Service Star awarded for meritorious service or acts for a nonmilitary person.
As a teacher educator, researcher, and educational practitioner, Tilaar is considered a national asset in Indonesia because of his critical thinking in addressing education issues and managing education development in Indonesia. He played an active and essential role in developing better education for Indonesian people and in improving the education system in Indonesia. His ideas and critiques were inscribed through writing in the form of books and articles published in mass media and presented in scientific forums at national and international levels. Considering his impactful work on education in Indonesia, he was requested to give a seminar at Harvard University in 2003; at this seminar, he presented some ideas pertaining to ways/methods to build a national education system without leaving local socio-cultural values. Tilaar’s ideas have been adopted by the Indonesian government and various educational institutions in Indonesia to develop the national curricula and standards of Indonesia.